US Open champion Andy Murray has promised to end the year on a high after a career-best season in which he captured Olympic gold and ended Britain’s 76-year wait for a men’s grand slam winner.
The 25-year-old begins his defence of the Japan Open title this week in Tokyo, where he faces Frenchman Gael Monfils in his first match since his New York triumph earlier this month. “It will be a tough first match against Monfils,” Murray told reporters at the weekend. “I’ve played him I think five times and lost to him a couple of times. He’s a great athlete.”
The Scot, who also reached his first Wimbledon final this year, said he was hungry for more success before looking back at a job well done in 2012.
“Obviously I have good memories [of Tokyo] from last year,” said the world No 3, who beat Rafa Nadal in a memorable final, losing just four points in a 6-0 third set. “It’s nice to come back. I’d also like to play well at the Tour Finals in London. I didn’t have the chance to do that last year [because of a groin strain]. I want to make sure I’m 100 per cent fit for that tournament and finish the year well there.”
A well-rested Murray arrived early for his Tokyo title defence, flying in from Bangkok on Thursday. “I’ve had a few more days to enjoy the city,” he said. “It’s been fun. I’ve had four or five days complete rest. During the season there aren’t many times you can do that.”
Meanwhile, Laura Robson advanced to the second round of the China Open yesterday with a straight-sets victory over Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm. The 18-year-old world No 57 saw off the 42-year-old wild card 6-4, 6-4 .
Robson will face Lourdes Dominguez Lino in round two after the Spaniard overcame 15th-seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.